Sunday, September 28, 2008

College Football

I spent yesterday afternoon watching the Cal Bears beat the Colorado State Rams and had a blast (thanks again for the ticket, Chris!).  The thing is, I don't normally root for either team.  So why did I enjoy the game so much?  

There really is something special about college football--something pro ball lost years ago.  The fans cheer for good plays, even during a blowout.  They know the fight song and aren't afraid to sing it.  The players aren't prima donnas who only try when they feel like it and are too good to mix with the rabble who pay to see them play.  The stadiums don't have luxury boxes, and their names aren't for sale.  It's football done right.

And if Notre Dame is playing (and winning), it's football done perfect.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Citibank Settlement

Okay, now I can talk about it.  Actually, after the surprisingly extensive news coverage to date (I was a little surprised to see articles in Irish and Turkish news outlets), there's not much to add.  Here are links to a few of the articles from the past week:;s=rollingnews.htm

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Whoa, has it really been five months since I posted? Time flies when you're having fun.* A lot of that time has been spent working on a case that I'm pretty pumped about and that recently settled. It's still under seal, so I can't talk about it yet. It should be unsealed in the next week or so, though, and I'll comment on it then. For now, suffice it to say that it's cases like this that remind me why I decided to leave big firm life and go to work for the Department of Justice.

I've also been busy promoting my new novel, Blood Brothers, which just released. Here are a couple of recent interviews:

I've been thrilled with the response that Blood Brothers has gotten from reviewers. Writing a sequel is always tough because it's hard to both keep the flavor of the first book and make the new one different and fresh. So I was a little nervous while writing BB, but so far the reviews have been better than I hoped. Here are a few:

*In this context, "fun" means "weekly deadlines and a state budget crisis."

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Artists and Cooks

Most of the writers I've met fall into two basic categories, which I'll call artists and cooks.  Artists view their manuscripts in much the same way a painter might view his or her paintings.  They want their work to be true to their vision, innovative, and even difficult.  If they're religious, they'll often feel that God has given them a specific message that they are to communicate through their writing.  They're more interested in enlightening or challenging their readers than in entertaining them.

Cooks, on the other hand, are all about entertaining.  They want to write books that are fun to read and will get published, so they'll cheerfully do market research to find out what genres are popular, hire professional editors to trim their manuscripts, and so on.  They don't view this as selling out anymore than a professional chef thinks he or she is selling out by trying to create popular dishes.  Sure, a wasabi-based mousse or a chocolate-stuffed salmon might be innovative and challenging, but they won't bring in many customers.

The best writing, of course, is a combination of the two approaches--entertaining tales that are artistically written, like Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities.  This doesn't bother most Cooks.  After all, what chef doesn't want to be called an artist?  Artists, however, sometimes reject the notion that they should try to write in ways that appeal to acquisitions editors and average readers.  That's fine, but if you're an Artist, you'll need to get used to the reality that publishers are in the business of selling books, not subsidizing art and enlightment.

Mount Hermon

Well, I'm off to the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in a few days.  This is the first one of these I've gone to, and it should be a great time.  The workshops look good, but what I'm really looking forward to is meeting the other attendees--several of whom I know, but have never met.   In fact, I've never met most of the people I know through my writing, primarily because few of them are in California:  my publisher is in Michigan, my publicists are in Tennessee, and the endorsers for Blood Brothers (my most recent novel) are in Illinois and Washington.  It'll be nice to actually meet more of them--and to get to know other writers.  I'll try to post from the conference and let you know what it's like.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Greetings!  Welcome to Rick Acker's blog.  Here you'll find postings about writing, law, Christianity, California, and anything else I feel a burning urge to write about from time to time.   Also, unless next season is a lot better, you will find regular laments about the state of Notre Dame football.